Written by contributor Amida of Journey into Unschooling.
You know those high achieving homeschoolers who read by age three and recite the times tables backwards and forwards by 3rd grade? The ones with the perfect penmanship, excellent spelling, and an uncanny ability to build complex mechanical structures out of LEGO and K’nex without an instruction manual?
Most of us know someone with at least one or two of these characteristics, the super homeschoolers that are our community’s pride and joy and the ones who also privately put us to shame, especially during those moments of doubt when we compare them to our own, and wonder, are we doing something wrong?
My daughter was a perfectionist, easily frustrated by the slightest setback. At an early age, she showed proficiency in writing and drawing, filling our walls with copywork and colorful, detailed pictures.
By first grade, she could complete a perfect cartwheel, but could barely read with any fluency or know the place value of any given number.
What she was good at she repeated often and well. She loved stories and we read to her every single day. Whenever she wanted to write a word, we spelled it out for her, a letter at a time. Fascinated with science, we read her Ranger Rick magazines from cover to cover and watched Bill Nye often.
Occasionally, I’d ask her to add or subtract a few numbers and work through online reading programs, but never felt she completely understood the concepts.
Truth be told, I had more than my share of insecure moments when I worried about her academic level in comparison to other kids her age.